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    7-Year-Old Boy With Heart Defect Is Granted Wish Of Becoming A Pilot.

    A seven-year-old boy realised his ambition of becoming a plane pilot in what his mother described as ‘the best moment of his life’. William Kottos, from Chicago, who suffers from a congenital heart defect, fulfilled his dream of attending flight school after intervention by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    The global charity arranged for the aviation fanatic to spent three days with American Airlines, who offered both formal training and flying experience.
    One of the carrier’s captains, Jim Palmersheim, personally spearheaded the adventure, which began with William being surprised at his home.
    His mother Kathy remarked: ‘He’s been through so much and this was the probably the best moment of his life’.
    From there, he and his family were flown in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the American Airlines headquarters in Dallas.
    Upon arrival, he was presented with a tailor-made American Airlines pilot’s uniform – not a costume, but a genuine outfit customized to William which included a hat, bag and aviator sunglasses – before undergoing the same training as genuine pilots at the corporate offices.
    image
    One of the carrier’s captains, Jim Palmersheim, personally spearheaded the adventure, which began with William being surprised at his home.
    His mother Kathy remarked: ‘He’s been through so much and this was the probably the best moment of his life’.
    From there, he and his family were flown in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the American Airlines headquarters in Dallas.
    image
    Upon arrival, he was presented with a tailor-made American Airlines pilot’s uniform – not a costume, but a genuine outfit customized to William which included a hat, bag and aviator sunglasses – before undergoing the same training as genuine pilots at the corporate offices.
    He then upheld the tradition of ringing a bell to welcome a new pilot to the company, before being ‘promoted’ to chief pilot.
    The second day included a visit to Human Resources, ground school, time in the flight simulator, a check ride and emergency training (including putting out a fire).
    The final day of William’s wish took him to Air Traffic Control, the controller tower (where he had a view from 300 feet above the ground), a visit to the hangar, an inspection of a 787, being named honorary fire chief and a pizza party with the firefighters. He also drove a tug to move a 787.
    William, who was born without a right heart ventricle, in effect giving him half of a working heart, had wanted to be a pilot since he was three years old.

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